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Evgenavis, new bird from Early Cretaceous of Siberia

From: Ben Creisler

In the new issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology:

Jingmai K O’Connor, Alexander O. Averianov & Nikita V. Zelenkov (2014)
A confuciusornithiform (Aves, Pygostylia)-like tarsometatarsus from
the Early Cretaceous of Siberia and a discussion of the evolution of
avian hind limb musculature.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(3): 647-656

We describe a new isolated tarsometatarsus from the Early Cretaceous
(Barremian-Aptian) Ilek Formation Shestakovo-3 locality in western
Siberia. The new specimen represents a new taxon, Evgenavis nobilis,
gen. et sp. nov., significantly increasing the Mesozoic avifauna from
Russia. The specimen shares morphologies with a number of basal
ornithothoracine taxa, but shows most similarity to the basal
pygostylian Confuciusornis sanctus, the oldest known beaked bird and
most common taxon from the Yixian Formation. Evgenavis may represent
the first record of Confuciusornithiformes outside of the Jehol Group
and its equivalent deposits. However, this is not supported by
cladistic analysis, which weakly resolves the new species and
Mystiornis both within the diverse Enantiornithes, indicating that
additional material is required to assess the systematic position of
Evgenavis nobilis (Aves incertae sedis). The three-dimensional
preservation of the specimen allows for a partial reconstruction of
the pedal musculature, revealing a primitive stage in the evolution of
the neornithine condition.